TBI Blog

TBI Blog

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Internet of Things (IoT) is key to the successful adoption of a variety of solutions, such as AI (and machine learning), 5G, cybersecurity and more. Learn how this emerging solution will only continue to impact and transform other technologies in 2022 and beyond.  

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Cryptocurrency has continued to gain popularity over the past decade, ever since it first launched 13 years ago. However, the story behind it goes far beyond 2008. 

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As CPaaS continues to be utilized by businesses to enhance customer experience, several technological developments will offer benefits to businesses far beyond communications.  

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CCaaS, once considered a luxury, is now being utilized by a growing number of contact centers in the wake of the pandemic. Find out more about why contact centers are implementing the cloud-based platform. 

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As hybrid work continues to grow in 2022, demand for technical solutions, such as security and cloud communications, will increase, further changing the Channel itself. Partners must be proactive in staying informed of changes in the industry if they want to take advantage of crucial selling opportunities. 

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Just twenty years ago, Unified Communications as a Service, otherwise known as UCaaS, referred mostly to voice solutions and was only seen as a replacement for traditional phone services. However, it has since transformed to include a suite of business communication solutions, including phone, email, voice messaging, and conferencing. As these tools are being utilized in a variety of industries and businesses, the UCaaS market is becoming more lucrative than ever.

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Private equity within the Channel is increasing, especially as more companies look for outside investments to grow and expand their organizations. The B2B technology industry is a prime target for private equity firms and it’s easy to see why when the market is valued at $3.5 trillion. According to Forrester, that figure is only expected to double in terms of GDP from 5% to 10% in the next decade. 

Private equity firms can clearly see the value of the Channel, and with the future looking brighter than ever, they are keen to take advantage of the sector while it’s on the rise. However, private equity does not come without its own risks, which is why TBI continues to remain independently owned. 

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According to Statista, the number of IoT devices is constantly growing. There are about 10 billion connected IoT devices in the world now. Roughly 90% of them are unmanageable and unprotected, meaning there is no centralized management platform, no centralized monitoring of events, settings are manually configured, etc.

In the current pandemic conditions, with a large number of users working from their home offices, the issue arises of managing information security risks associated with home IoT devices. Printers, Smart TVs, file storage, video surveillance cameras and other equipment are often connected to the same home network as the devices from which corporate data is accessed. Compromised devices may lead to a data breach. People who install and use all these smart devices at home often have minimal knowledge in the field of information security.

I want to touch upon the information security problems associated with IoT devices, as well as some approaches to solving these problems.

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SolarWinds, the Colonial Pipeline, JBS. . . cyberattacks continue to make headlines, bringing greater threat to businesses, your customers and you. When a breach happens, it can be devastating to any organization, big or small. So, what responsibility do you have as a partner to help keep your customers protected? Some might say a great deal, given that businesses depend on you to help and advise them.

Along with focusing on your customers’ growing IT needs and challenges, it will serve you well to be talking security throughout your conversations, even if it is not your focus or primary business.

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Do you want fries with that? It’s a cross sell that we’re all familiar with. You placed your order and now you’re being asked if you want a side of something else. There is a reason that major corporations use this popular tactic – it works. You’re already a customer, they have you there, and when ask if you want something else, you realize that you just might.  

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5G and IoT will change our world! That’s what we’ve been promised. For years, we have been hearing how 5G will have us working at lightning speed and how IoT will have objects and devices around us operating autonomously. As we enter the 5G and IoT world, let’s explore what this means for mobility and what is on the horizon for businesses.

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Today, your customers operate their IT infrastructure and run applications across many cloud environments. They continue to invest in cloud for easy deployment, flexibility, cost management and performance. Nearly all organizations have embraced a multi-cloud strategy – 93% according to Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report. The pandemic sped up transformation initiatives, and technology partners should capitalize on migrations and improving experience. If you have not downloaded it yet, be sure to get The Cloud Journey Guide for insights on how to maximize demand.

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Colocation continues to be a dependable, solid solution to have in your portfolio. Need for these services are growing with the acceleration of digital transformation and with more and more businesses turning to hybrid IT and cloud-based services. Remote-work models are here to stay, and colocation allows IT staff to perform data center duties offsite. Additionally, businesses might turn to colocation to help with security both physical and for remote employees filtered traffic to a centralized, secure location with managed firewalls and proper access controls in place. Get TBI’s sell sheet on colocation to learn more benefits to your customers. 

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If there was ever a year that tested our strength as humans, it was 2020. The personal and professional struggles were indeed very real as our new normal was anything but. Our lives were uprooted, people dealing with immense hardships and mental stress. I found myself working more and having even less of a work life balance, not like I had much before. The lines of being a mom, boss, teammate, friend, coworker have all been blurred and I now have much greater appreciation for others trying to find balance in a world that seems uncertain and scary.

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Technologies advancing remote work

2021 will be a year for the enterprise (large and small) to build out or course correct what they implemented in haste due to COVID-19. We see how much technology helped and continues to help us navigate the pandemic, an example being Zoom as the default “Kleenex” type reference for all video conferencing now. There is a reason why the CCaaS business is booming – many deploying it for analytics and reporting relating to workforce optimization and remote work. And why companies like Twilio have surging stock pricing due to APIs syncing communication platforms with business applications – think remote restaurant ordering, pickup and end-to-end customer/business communications.

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Computing has been moving to the edge as companies recognize the benefits of processing closer to where data is generated. The number of connected devices is more than we have ever seen, propelled by remote workforces with mini computers aka smartphones on themselves at all times, demanding instant data transfers. Edge computing brings better performance capabilities, reduced network latency and bandwidth usage. In some instances, for example when involving autonomous vehicles or critical medical devices, latency can prove very dangerous, perhaps a difference in life or death, making edge computing necessary for localized data processing, allowing for faster response times and only relevant data sent back to the cloud for storage.

As edge computing becomes more necessary due to increased IoT consumption, so does the need for security. So, how do businesses address security when it comes to edge computing?

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Security operations center as a service (SOCaaS) and managed detection and response (MDR) are managed cybersecurity services that provide intrusion detection of ransomware/malware and malicious activity in the network and assist in rapid incident response to eliminate those threats with concise remediation actions. Typically, SOCaaS and MDR combine with technology solutions that have outsourced security analysts to extend security technologies and team.

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Let’s be very clear - hackers do not discriminate. They’re after any and every opportunity to snatch data, make money, disrupt business and cause chaos. In case you missed it at TBI’s BIG Event 2020, a white hat hacker showed us exactly how easy it is to hack into a device during Hold My Beer While I Hack This Smartphone – watch here. Businesses big and small can fall prey, and you and your customers need to be aware. So far this year, we’ve seen some big-name companies, with presumable top-notch security, become victims. The pandemic seems to be a catalyst for many of the biggest breaches that have taken place in 2020. Check out some of the most headline grabbing examples of the reality and severity of cyberattacks.

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A huge cybersecurity problem facing many businesses, even large corporations, is the lack of a strong cybersecurity workforce. A report shared by Security Magazine found that 76% of cybersecurity leaders believe their company is lacking cybersecurity skills, and there are over 314,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the US according to Cyber Seek. In an alarming prediction from Cybersecurity Ventures, unfilled cybersecurity jobs around the world are only expected to increase, reaching 3.5 million by 2021, up from 1.5 million in 2015.

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The FBI reports a 300-400% increase in cybersecurity incidents since the pandemic began and Google reveals 18 million COVID-related phishing emails are now being blocked, daily. Risks and threats have rapidly multiplied as hackers prey on disenfranchised organizations and unplanned remote work. Most businesses today have security baked into their IT plans, but those plans need to be re-evaluated and assessed on an ongoing basis.

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